Senate investigators released the first and what may be the only report about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The 127-page document is a review by two Senate committees on the attack on Congress as it sought to certify President Biden’s election victory. In pointing to security and intelligence failures, the bipartisan group issued a look at the “How,” but not the “Why.”
The How: The report deals with planning failures on the part of law enforcement organizations before the attack, the breakdown in communications and a lack of resources available to forces on the ground during the attack.
According to the report, the police intelligence unit knew about social media posts days, if not weeks before, calling for violence at the Capitol on January 6. This included “a plot to breach the Capitol, the online sharing of maps of the Capitol Complex’s tunnel systems, and other specific threats of violence,” the report says. Adding, agents did not properly inform leaders of everything they found.
The Senate report described the hours-long delay in deploying the National Guard Jan. 6 as officials in multiple agencies took bureaucratic steps to release the troops. During the attack, the report says, Capitol Police were compromised by bad intelligence, poor planning, faulty equipment and a lack of leadership. The command system “broke down during the attack,” leaving officers on the front lines without orders.
There were compelling accounts from law enforcement members. Reports detailed how officers on the front lines suffered chemical burns, brain injuries and broken bones, among other injuries, after fighting the attackers, who quickly overwhelmed them and broke into the building. The officers described hearing racial slurs and seeing Nazi salutes. One officer, in trying to evacuate the Senate, said he stopped several men in full tactical gear, one of whom said, “You better get out of our way, boy, or we’ll go through you to get (the senators).”
The report did include recommendations to increase Capitol Hill security. Proposed measures include a review of how to handle intelligence from social media and other sources, better training and equipment for Capitol Police. It also suggests enhanced communication between the National Guard and Defense Department. While it succeeds in getting some procedural issues and improvements, the report is a failure on so many other levels.
What’s Not in the Senate Report:
There is no analysis of why the attack happened. Described by some as a scapegoat report, it did not look at the mob leadership and failures of that leadership. And without this, there will be no answers to how to avoid future coup attempts. There is no mention of efforts to destroy the domestic terrorism that currently exists in the United States of America.
The search is on for answers to questions such as, what was behind the birth of the violent mobs and who created this? There are questions and concerns to which Republicans don’t want answers or to pursue any additional investigations. Republicans refuse to get down and dirty when it comes to the violent, cult-like environment created by the former President and those around him, including many of their fellow members of the House and Senate.